The NBA Restart season continues to move smoothly and efficiently. Over the past two days the entire Eastern Conference Playoff spots have been clinched. The battle for the 8th seed in the Western Conference continues to heat up. The Playmaker went 3-3 on Thursday and 4-2 on yesterday. He stands at an overall record of 31-18 going into the second weekend of the Restart.
Today's NBA Slate:
Triple-header on TNT that will kickoff the weekend slate and finish the day on ESPN. Five games on the schedule on today.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers 1PM TNT
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets 3:30PM TNT
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers 6PM TNT
Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat 7:30PM
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks 8:30PM ESPN
The Playmaker's Picks:
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Western Conference battle to get off the day and the triple-header on TNT.
LA Clippers still in the 2nd seeding spot in the West, but are still fighting to keep the 2nd seed over the Denver Nuggets with a game and half lead over the Nuggets. The Clippers are coming off their best performance in the Bubble against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Three Clippers scored 20+ points in the win led by Kawhi Leonard's 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. They will have to duplicate Thursday's performance to keep the momentum going as their opponent today is fighting for their playoff lives.
The Portland Trail Blazers, a team who in still in the 9th place in the West, but only a game behind the Memphis Grizzlies who finally got their first victory in the Bubble. The Trail Blazers coming off a win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday as they continue to look like the team nobody wants to play in the playoffs in the West at full strength.
Playmaker's Pick: LA Clippers
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets
Another Western Conference matchup in the triple-header. This battle is more about seeding as both teams are in the playoffs.
The Utah Jazz coming off a lost to the San Antonio Spurs on yesterday. They rested their main starters in Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Rudy Gobert. Mitchell and Conley are dealing with minor injuries and Gobert was just giving a rest day as the Jazz play back-to-back. As if now no word if their players will play today, but would like to think they would due to the fact that they are battling the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder for the 4th seed in the West.
On the other side, the Denver Nuggets who still hold the 3rd seed in the West. Have been without three of their starters since the Restart. It looks like that will continue with a couple of more players on the injury report according to their Twitter account. This could be a game where it's more about than winning for the Nuggets.
Playmaker's Pick: Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers
The third and finally game of the TNT triple-header is an inter0conference matchup.
The LA Lakers, top-seed in the West and no one can do anything about it. Already have locked up everything, the Lakers rested LeBron James against the Houston Rockets in a lost. Rumor has it that they might rest LeBron again and possibly Anthony Davis with everything locked. Nothing much for the Lakers to do but get quality reps in for everyone to get in rhythm.
The Indiana Pacers, who hold the 5th seed over the Philadelphia 76ers as of now. Coming off their first lost in the Restart to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. TJ Warren was cool down against his former team with just 16 points. Indiana is in an interesting spot as they can obtain the 4th seed from Miami but can drop to the 6th seed behind Philly. How will Nate McMillan handle this situation with Victor Oladipo still dealing with a quad injury? Possibly playing against a depleted Lakers might help.
Playmaker's Pick: Indiana Pacers
Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat
The only team unbeaten in the Restart comes from the West and very surprisingly. The Phoenix Suns are 4-0 in the Restart and look to continue their hot start today. Two and half games back from the 8th seed and a game and half from the 9th seed, the Suns have became Cinderella's team in the Restart. They could have a hard time staying hot in today's matchup.
The Miami Heat, takes their turn against the Suns. The Heat coming off a beatdown lost to the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to bounce back quickly. This young team without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, controlled the 1st half, but their struggled in the 2nd half. The Heat holds the 4th seed in the East with Indiana and Philly chasing them, but they are chasing Boston for the 3rd seed.
Two young teams set do battle and only one will get a much needed victory.
Playmaker's Pick: Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks
The final game of the day will be on ESPN at 8:30 EST. Another inter-conference matchup.
The Milwaukee Bucks, top-seed in the East for the second consecutive year and have nothing much to play for like the Lakers in the West. That come from behind victory against Miami solidified them as tops in the East. They get Eric Bledsoe back and might want to play him so he can get in rhythm, but what do they do with Giannis at this point? We shall see tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks on the other side, have struggled in the Restart and needs to turn it around before the playoffs. There's a small chance for the Mavs to move up in seeding but playing teams like Milwaukee at full strength could be a problem. They are in the playoffs but a 1st Round matchup with the LA Clippers is not ideal for Dallas.
Playmaker's Pick: Milwaukee Bucks